Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has joined a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and members of his administration for finalizing a rule that could prevent green-card holders from staying in the country because of welfare use.
The rule would allow the government to deny green card extension or entry into the country for non-citizen legal immigrants who are determined to be a “public charge” because they rely heavily on the welfare system or may rely heavily on the welfare system into the future.
The rule was issued through Ken Cuccinelli, who is the head of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the former attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In a news release, Herring labeled the rule un-American and criticized Trump and Cuccinelli.
“The conditions of the new rule, and the bizarre, un-American statements made by Acting Director Cuccinelli in defense of it, make it clear that this rule is designed to reduce legal immigration and favor wealthy, white immigrants,” Herring said.
“For centuries our Commonwealth and our country have been enriched by a diverse community of immigrants who came here with little money, but with ambition, drive, and creativity to spare,” he said. “They have built businesses, created jobs, strengthened our communities, and contributed to our success, but now Ken Cuccinelli and Donald Trump are trying to turn away those they consider to be unworthy.”
In a news release, the administration said that immigrants should be able to support themselves and that non-citizen abuse should not jeopardize the social safety net.
“To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient,” Trump said.
The lawsuit is being brought by a coalition of 13 states who claim that it violates federal immigration statutes, the Welfare Reform Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.